Our Beginners’ Stories

Sign up for our Beginners’ Course here!

Paula’s story

I did the Bournville Harriers’ Beginners’ course last year (2022) with my husband, John. Our daughter, who ran with the club, very kindly signed us up!!
Prior to that, I hadn’t done any running for over 50 years since secondary school. I was nervous but, in a funny way, also excited about challenging myself.

I opted for targeting 3k as I wasn’t confident in achieving the 5k. Everyone was very helpful and encouraging. The coaches and volunteers were knowledgeable about the programme, supportive and keen for everyone to achieve their goals. Each week was achievable, and there were people to run with me at my pace.

I successfully completed the Beginners’ course, and over the summer, I went on to do the 5k and 10k. I have just completed the Birmingham 10k and loved it! I run at various park runs, which are great fun, and I’m able to challenge myself. I enjoy being a member of Bournville Harriers and have enjoyed meeting new people. I run on a Monday evening with them and do other things during the week.

I have made some special running friends, including those who joined the beginners’ group with me last year and others at the club.

I would highly recommend giving it a go. I’m sure you will love it.

Beginners’ group 2022

Jude’s story

In 2011, I did the BvH Beginners’ Course to run Race for Life in memory of my friend who’d died of breast cancer on the birthday we shared.

I used to think running was a very nasty activity involving even nastier clothing – why would anyone want to do that?! I didn’t even have proper trainers when I started. . . Or any other kit, for that matter.

I’d never been remotely sporty and was always last to be picked for games teams at school! Turns out I can actually run quite a long way; I have now run the London Marathon multiple times!

Doing the Beginners’ Course was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I’ve made many great friends and achieved things I never imagined I could in a really supportive environment. Rest assured, though, there is no
obligation whatsoever to go on to run a marathon – unless, of course, you
want to!

Jude running the London Marathon

Kevin’s story

I restarted my running at Bournville Harriers Beginners’ Course in May 2016. The first person I met was someone who I had worked with twenty-five years earlier and who I am now friends with! The Beginners’ Course set me up with encouragement, advice, and support.

I then transitioned to the Club’s Monday Runs (generally 6 miles) and coached reps on Thursday, having met the friendliest group of people I know.

Eighteen months after joining the Club, I tackled my first marathon. Although a chest infection, cold & injury all added to a struggling 26.2 Mile jaunt, I did it! All thanks to that first day on the Beginners’ Course that set me on my way.

Kevin running as a Bournville Harrier

Rachel’s story

I completed the Beginners’ Course as a lapsed runner in 2016. I remember how nervous I was when I came to the club the first time, but I needn’t have worried. The running groups were small, and the amount of time running was built up slowly, so it was manageable. I looked forward to Monday and Thursday evenings, and it was fun to get fitter and faster…

People have a misconception about running clubs – it’s not just for super-fast people (although BvH has some of those); they’re for everyone. After a bad day at work, I go running, and by the power of endorphins, it is all forgotten. BvH felt very quickly a place where I felt I belonged. I love the fact that there’s such a diversity of members.

In November 2017, I decided to train for the London marathon, it was my first marathon, and I fundraised for Mind as running has really helped my mental health. I’m so excited that I have managed to go from beginner to marathon runner in just under two years, something that would never have been possible without the support of BvH.

Rachel completes the Beginners’ Course

Suzanne’s story

I joined the Beginners’ Course in May 2017 and haven’t looked back since. I huffed and puffed my way around the first sessions wondering how on earth I was going to run continuously for more than 2 minutes, let alone 5 or 10km. I hadn’t run for more than a bus in 18 years but had rashly signed up for a 10km wolf run for fun!

Four wolf runs, five marathons and five ultra marathons later, and I cannot imagine a life without running. The Beginners’ Course gave me the skills, the confidence and the belief to do things I never imagined were possible; two stone lighter, massively fitter, and so many new friends are just a few of the benefits I have reaped from this fabulous journey.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a life-changing opportunity you will never forget!

Suzanne completes an ultra marathon

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